Gu had 'mental breakdown' at time of Heywood's death

 

Gu Kailai, the wife of the fallen Communist leader Bo Xilai accused of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood, claimed she suffered a "mental breakdown" before his death, and will "calmly face" any sentence handed to her.

Ms Gu claimed she was worried for the safety of her son, who Mr Heywood is alleged to have threatened after business deals she brokered for him soured.

"I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy. The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families," Xinhua, the official news agency, quoted her as telling the court – from which foreign media were barred – at her trial on Thursday.

"I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision," she said, according to Xinhua.

Four Chinese police officers admitted that they tried to cover up the murder, according to a court official.

The officers testified yesterday at the same court in Hefei where Ms Gu accepted murder charges on Thursday, but did not reveal why they had sought to hide her involvement, reporters were told.

Mr Heywood's death in November 2011 was initially deemed accidental and his body quickly cremated. But this explanation fell into doubt when former Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, told a US consulate in February he had evidence about the death of Mr Heywood. The South China Morning Post reported that Mr Wang could be tried for treason next week in Chengdu.

According to the prosecutors' statement, Ms Gu attempted to kill Mr Heywood in his hotel room in Chongqing by plying him with alcohol and poisoning him. But it appears that her defence team may have argued that the poison could not have caused his death since tests found a "non-lethal dose" in a sample of his blood.

In a post published on the Boxun news website, Zhao Xiangcha, one of the observers, said there were reports of a third person involved in the case.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
Life & Style
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Life & Style
On the dogwalk: a poodle on the runway during a Mulberry show in London
fashionThe duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
News
peopleEmma Appleton says photographer said he would shoot her for magazine if she slept with him
Extras
indybest
News
peopleRevealed: Goop.com's losses - and the pay rises
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: BIRMINGHAM - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY Commercial ...

Customer Development Specialist

COMPETITIVE: STONETOOLS: The position is within the Customer Development Team ...

Warehouse Assistant

£20,000 per annum: STONETOOLS: Stonetools is a leading supplier of tools for w...

Purchasing Assistant

£24,000 - 27,000 per annum: STONETOOLS: The position is within the Purchasing ...

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents